Brain study says putting ads on radio is a no-brainer


iHeartMediaA study from Neuro-Insight, commissioned by iHeartMedia, shows that in the minds of study participants, radio ads consistently outperform television ads – particularly in brain-to-brain contests featuring ads for the same product.

The study was explained by iHM, which stated, “Neuro-Insight tested eight advertising campaigns with parallel radio and television versions across the automotive, financial services, insurance, consumer packaged goods, quick-service restaurants, entertainment, retail and telco categories. In seven of the eight test cases, radio ads returned much higher results than TV in Memory Encoding at key branding moments. For advertisers, Memory Encoding at branding is the key to a successful ad campaign – and unless Memory Encoding is high at this critical point, the ad will not function successfully. This has been peer-reviewed and published in various other research studies.”

In general, people were more engaged with the radio versions of the ads.

“These findings from Neuro-Insight represent significant scientific evidence that radio’s ability to engage consumers — and influence them to purchase – can far outperform other media,” said Dr. Radha Subramanyam, Executive Vice President of Insights for iHeartMedia. “If advertisers want their messages to truly register with consumers – and drive their purchasing behavior — they need to make radio a significant part of their media budgets.”

Noting that this was clearly good news for a company with an asset portfolio like iHN, Pranav Yadav, CEO of Neuro-Insight US Inc., added, “It also shows that radio should always remain a part of your marketing mix.”

RBR-TVBR observation: If you’re like us, you are immediately thinking: Theater of the mind. Isn’t this just another way of saying that? By leaving out a visual stream, the mind of the average person is engaged filling in all of those blanks, which can’t help but take a person deeper into the content.

The task radio faces is to make sure its advertising provokes this kind of mental exercise as much as it possible can. It will take talented copywriters who are actively working to create theater of the mind to make this work to its fullest potential, in our humble opinion.

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